St Olav's Way in Sweden vs The Gudbrandsdalen Path through Norway


2018 edition Camino Guides

jrm

Active Member
#1
Hello all,

I've been researching both these paths for a while now. Does anyone have experience with both? Both paths sound beautiful, and I've got a guidebook for the path through Sweden. Is there a recommendation between the two?

-jon
 

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#4
I am hoping to walk from Sundsvall in Sweden to Trondheim next summer? I'm not sure I have the names of the places right and I'm waiting for the trail guide from the stolavsleden shop so I can get more details on the trail. I understand that it isn't as developed as caminos in Spain, Portugal, etc and that we'll have to be prepared to carry food with us, perhaps sleep in more "rustic" accommodations, etc?

Does anyone have experience with this route?

Thanks in advance,
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
#5
I am hoping to walk from Sundsvall in Sweden to Trondheim next summer?

Does anyone have experience with this route?
I walked that route in May 2016. An interesting experience but very different from the Spanish caminos. If you have any specific questions I would be very happy to answer as far as I can. There is a very helpful and active Facebook group dedicated to the route. Many of the posts are in Swedish but most of the members are also very fluent in English and very ready to help. Well worth joining.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/hikingstolavsleden/
 

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#6
Good to hear you did this walk as I do have questions...

What is the terrain like? Is it mostly countryside or do you go through a lot of towns/cities? Paved or gravel roads or country paths?

How much time did you need to do the whole thing? Did you have to plan your day based on where you could find a place to stay?

Did you need a sleeping bag? We're going in late June/early July (just firming up the dates) but it still seems like it is pretty cool at night?

Did you have to carry your own food or were there lots of places to eat?

Were there albergues or hostels for pilgrims, as in Spain, etc or what kind of accommodation was there along the route?

I'll definitely follow the group on facebook and hope to get more information when I get the guide from the st olavsleden shop.

Thanks again,
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
#7
What is the terrain like? Is it mostly countryside or do you go through a lot of towns/cities? Paved or gravel roads or country paths?
The terrain is very mixed. A lot of walking on minor roads with one very long section - over 30km - at the side of a major surfaced road. A number of sections through pine forest including one stretch of about 40km without significant towns or villages. No very high mountain sections although the crossing from Sweden into Norway is a long isolated stage through significant hills. For an experienced walker none of the stages presents any technical challenges. The route passes through small towns or villages on most days but few large towns.

How much time did you need to do the whole thing? Did you have to plan your day based on where you could find a place to stay?
I carried a small tent and camped most nights. Swedish and Norwegian law and culture are very open to wild camping. Partly for convenience as I was not limited in my stages. Partly to reduce cost. And partly because I walked in May when many of the accommodation options were closed. I walked the route in 17 days which most people would find very fast - but with temperatures often close to or below freezing and with nowhere sheltered to stop on many days there was an incentive to keep moving :)

Did you need a sleeping bag? We're going in late June/early July (just firming up the dates) but it still seems like it is pretty cool at night?
As I mentioned I walked in May and was occasionally camping in temperatures down to -5C. I carried a warm sleeping bag and winter clothing. Even in June I would go prepared for cool nights and personally I would always carry a sleeping bag. If you enter the names of some of the towns along the route into the www.weatherspark.com website search box you will find average weather figures for the route which should give you a good guide.

Did you have to carry your own food or were there lots of places to eat?
I carried at least one full day's supply of food at all times. There were several stages where no food was available for 24 hours or more and when I expected these I would stock up with at least two day's supply. Walking in summer you will find more places open but there will still be stages where carrying food will be essential. This is one of the ways in which the route is VERY different from the Camino Frances. Planning and preparation are essential.

Were there albergues or hostels for pilgrims, as in Spain, etc or what kind of accommodation was there along the route?
There are some pilgrim hostels and other (relatively) low cost options along the route but again nothing like the Camino Frances. Accommodation is much further apart and generally considerably more expensive than in Spain. Unless you are prepared to camp you may find yourself spending more time in private B&B type accommodation which is often expensive in Sweden and even more so in Norway. The ST Olavsleden website provides details of accommodation. As the route grows more popular the range of accommodation has grown - even in the 18 months since I walked it.
http://www.stolavsleden.com/accommodation-services/
 

jrm

Active Member
#8
Awesome! Thanks so much. Yes, both look amazing. I'd love to do both, but need to figure which to tackle first (in case I don't get back fro the second path).
 

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